MBA 669

Rick Marriner

Monday, Orange County

Winter, 1998

Double Entry Journal Assignment

Stephen P. Robbins, 1998, Organizational Behavior - Chapter 5 "Basic Motivation Concepts", New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Objective Points

Subjective Review

Summary: Motivation is the willingness to exert high levels of effort towards organizational goals conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy a personal need. Motivation levels and motivational needs are different for different people in different situations. The key concept here is that it takes different things to motivate different people in different situations. A current project in our company that I am involved in is the motivation of both Junior and Senior officers to function at higher level of performance and also try and maintain or lift the esprit de corps. This is not an easy task while still trying to maintain financial viability in a very competitive market. On the highest level the labor market is very inelastic while the junior officers are relatively easy to get and keep aboard.
Point 1: The chapter looks at older and more accepted versions of motivational analysis. The one I felt were worth mentioning is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I have read a work by an essayist on the topic of existentialism entitled, "Inverting Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs." Since he was preaching that we should enable ourselves through detachment he believed that by seeking self-actualization would in fact fulfill the lower needs in the journey. I tend to disagree with both models in favor of a more contemporary ERG model.
Point 2: The author describes a number of contemporary models one of which is the expectancy theory of the motivation. Specifically the motivation one experiences is a function of how well circumstance meet one’s expectations. This is the most interesting of the models of motivation because it applies to one of my biggest problems and benefits on the ships. The first is that the more experienced junior officers on the ships come from fleets that have older more lucrative pay packages locked in. the danger is that they still expect a young/new competitive company to have the ability to pay the same rates that the old/dying company can. By not paying this they are less motivated than the new guy who has no greater expectation that a fair days pay for a fair days work. This expectation theory is a benefit in the later case.
Point 3: The Goal Setting theory is another contemporary theory that depicts that as the goal increases the performance increases. This requires specific measurable goals, but for the most part holds true. In my experience when a goal is set high people will try and attain it, and if just trying to attain it they increase performance then it has worked. It is important to note that when in a group setting, like a ship, when a goal is set high and an individual cannot attain it alone, hen the individual will have an incentive to use the synergy of the team to attain the goal.
Question: Is there any one theory that is good in all situations? If so what would it be? I believe there is and it is called situational motivation. It is a hybrid of all the mentioned motivation concepts and tries to use each one in its most comparatively effective situation. Thus we have a concept that can handle any situation.

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